“Sheer joy!” – Shelter Point Artisanal Single Malt 46%

We kicked off our Shelter Point evening with the “foundation” expression – their Artisanal Single Malt.

This was our third opportunity to try Shelter Point’s single malt – from their very 1st batch in 2016, to their next edition in 2017 – loved them both! And hoped against hope would not be disappointed with their latest avatar.

Spoiler alert! This one was dubbed “sheer joy!” for its delightfully happy aromas.

Unlike some tasting sessions where notes come only from one sitting, this time I’ve divided the experience into three to reflect each sitting – both to capture the influences and perspectives shared by different tasting groups plus slight shifts in whisky itself – going from sealed to open for a month and a half.

First up was the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai who had this to say:

Shelter Point Artisanal Single Malt (2018) 46%

  • Nose – Honey sweet, floral and fruit, sunshine, vanilla cream, a hint of chocolate, a beautiful desert, bubblegum
  • Palate – Initially a nice zing, sugar sweet, ginger… then begins to mellow, even a bit of hazelnut and marzipan
  • Finish – Pleasant with a nice bit of bitter orange
  • Water – Rounds it out

Such a happy whisky… we could just keep coming back to it and enjoy its delicious honeyed aromas.

And then our original Mumbai group two weeks later found:

  • Nose – Greeted us with pears, apples, friendly yet with a prickly spice. Loads of honey, some hay… what one described as a “green malt”. Truly it had a beautiful bouquet, while uncomplicated with a narrow aroma, it was lovely, like a fresh meadow
  • Palate & Finish – Liquid honey, delicious and quite enjoyable but for some it seemed to dash away rather than hang about… where as for others, there was a clear finish with lots of pepper, slightly bitter in an interesting contrast to the very sweet nose

One joked that from initial palate to finish it was like having honey and crushed black peppercorns on a single spoon! No great depth, uncomplicated yet easy to enjoy. One to return to…

Then a small informal tasting a couple weeks later with lasses who had tried both earlier 2016 and 2017 editions:

  • Nose – Sheer happiness, amiable, warm baked apples, warm summer day, fresh mowed lawn, sweet sunshine
  • Palate – Not a pushover on the palate, more “oomph!” than we remember from the earlier batches, yet still completely delicious, warm spice, buttercup, butter tart
  • Finish – There but…

We discussed how this is one of those whiskies you simply enjoy – hard to pick apart or describe exactly why you love it so much, but it is just so darn “nice”… bottom line? We pronounced it “sheer joy” in liquid form!

While there is no age statement, we understand the whisky is matured for five years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels and it shows.

As for the folks over at Shelter Point? This is what they have to say:

  • Tasting Notes: An enticing nose of vanilla, coconut, caramel and tropical fruits. The palate provides a delectable melody of juicy fruits and candied sweets, leading to a tantalising finish of spice, malt chocolate and a hint of salt.
  • Still: Custom-designed copper pot still
  • Base: 100% malted barley (That’s it. Nothing else)
  • Distillation: Small-batch, 2x distilled
  • Spirit: Natural colour and non-chill filtered

We had the pleasure of sampling the entire 2018 range, courtesy of the folks at Shelter Point who kindly sent it from British Columbia to my family in Manitoba which I then brought back to Mumbai in February 2019.

Interested in the other Shelter Point 2018 editions? Check out our tasting notes:

Curious about our other brushes with Shelter Point?

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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